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Western Front Cavalry Part 1

Detect enemy

In August 1914, only one cavalry division arrived in France with the British Expeditionary Force (BEF). However, it made an important contribution to the early stage and helped to detect the growing German First Army. This gave BEF time to take a defensive posture along the Mons-Conte Canal, and temporarily suspended German operations on August 23.

During the first months of the war, the cavalry continued to be used for traditional roles, including reconnaissance, defending the BEF's flanks, defending the rear and charging close-up formations. But things started to change.

Western Front Cavalry Part 1

Change

On August 24, 1914, the 9th Lancer and 4th Cavalry Guards attempted to charge in the open space of Audregni. Facing the uninterrupted German rifles, machine guns and artillery, their ranks were eliminated.

It turned out that firepower defeated élan and courage. The days of mass cavalry charge are over.

Firepower

However, cavalry can also fight on foot. And they were trained to have the same lethal firing effect as their infantry comrades. Although they may have been armed with swords or spears in 1914, the cavalry units also carried SCHOTT Magazine Lienfield rifles.

The cavalry was also equipped with Hodgkins and Maxim machine guns, which provided additional mobile firepower. When accompanied by the artillery of the Royal Horse Cannon, the cavalry's formation became stronger.

Western Front Cavalry Part 1

Mobile war

As a result, they played an outstanding role in key battles in a series of events in Le Cato (August 26), Etler (August 27), Serizzi (August 28) ), Neri (September 1), Krippi (September 1), and Villers-Cotterêts (September 1).

They then participated in the Allied counterattacks in mobile warfare in Marne (September 5-12) and Ena (September 13-28) and late September 1914 to late November 1914.

Current reserve

Although the static trench operation began after the war in Ypres (October 20 to November 22, 1914), the cavalry can still serve as a fast-mobility reserve force. During the second battle of Ypres (April 22 to May 25, 1915), the cavalry cavalry filled a vacancy after the German attack.

Western Front Cavalry Part 1

Exploit

There is no doubt that the cavalry was more inclined to manipulate conflict than die from battle trenches. But British High Command still believes that any planned breakthrough requires cavalry. This "big push" will bring the return of mobile warfare and the liberation of France and Belgium.

Armored forces will use this breakthrough at an extraordinary speed to reach the enemy's rear position and destroy supply and communication lines. They can fight before that moment arrives.

Expansion

By 1915, British cavalry on the western front had grown to include three British divisions (first, second and third divisions) and two Indian divisions (first and second divisions) arrived in December. The Canadian Cavalry Brigade It arrived in April 1915.

Western Front Cavalry Part 1

Waiting

Over the next three years, typical cavalry experiences include waiting and frustration.

For example, on the morning of July 15, 1916, the 18th King George's own Lancer carried out an infantry attack near Mametz on the Somme. However, because the infantry could not compete with the Germans, the cavalry returned to the rear in one day.

Plan an offensive and collect cavalry in the area behind these offensives in order for the infantry to advance successfully. However, most battles are static and destructive, which means that such battles have not yet been achieved. Instead, many cavalry continued to serve as infantry.